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BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) -

Canada's offer to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS falls short of international peers

January 3, 2014 - Following World AIDS Day on December 1, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria convened leaders from around the world in Washington, D.C. to make funding pledges to end HIV and AIDS. What follows is Dr. Julio Montaner's address of Canada's pledge, which fell short of other nations.

In December, the government of Canada announced $650 million in new funding over three years for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

This is the good news. The dollars contributed to the Global Fund, go directly towards helping people living with HIV in developing nations access life-saving treatment. In 2013, UNAIDS reported the scale-up of treatment has enabled nearly 10 million people to gain access to these life-saving medicines. These successes have been in large part due to the efforts of the Global Fund.

Evidence has proven treatment can eliminate progression of HIV infection to AIDS and premature death, and dramatically decrease HIV transmission. The made-in-Canada Treatment as Prevention strategy, pioneered by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, calls for widespread HIV testing and immediate provision of these HIV medicines. It's a strategy that's been proven to work, here in B.C. (the only province to formally implement this strategy), and around the world, where it has been adopted as the national strategy in China, US, France, Brazil and others.

In July 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) incorporated Treatment as Prevention as the new cornerstone of the global HIV guidelines. This has expanded the eligibility for HIV treatment from 15 million to over 25 million people in low- and middle-income countries. While this imposes a tall order in the short term, it has the potential of radically changing the course of the epidemic. Recent analyses demonstrate the full implementation of the 2013 WHO guidelines could avert over three million AIDS deaths and four million new HIV infections by the year 2025.

The Global Fund has set a target of $15 billion in funding. We cannot afford to miss this target.

Given these circumstances, Canada's newly announced contributions are not nearly enough, especially when compared to our international peers. This newest pledge is equal to approximately $6 per Canadian per year, far less than the nearly $8 per UK citizen and $10 per Nordic citizen.


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About the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS:

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada's largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility. The BC-CfE is based at St. Paul's Hospital, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE is dedicated to improving the health of British Columbians with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related diseases.

Reproduced with permission - "B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS"

B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

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